Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Australia is paying cash for newborns. I think this is ridiculous. If Australia wants to boost the declining population, why not bring in foster and adoptive children from other countries? Australia should direct the money to the Aborigines who were dislocated and taken out of their natural home environment by the White Australian society and help them become employed or reintegrated in their own ways, even if that means returning to the Bush. Australia has more important societal problems than trying to increase the population. I think that one reason they're seeing a decline in births is because of geography. Australia is a big island completely surrounded by water. Here, USA's land is connected to Mexico and Canada. There are also many islands off the shore where folks try to escape and cross the water to touch US soil. Therefore, folks can stream into the US. Australia is inaccessible. It would be interesting to see how Australia would handle immigration and booming population issues.

Also, it's too bad that mothers-to-be are being paid for having babies. I wish we could pay people here to not have babies, especially those who don't take motherhood seriously or aren't "good mothers" at heart/in whatever ways and end up hurting the kids and keep the child protection services in business. Don't get me wrong here. I'm all for people who want to have families. I just wish that we could pay the incompetents to not have babies. I get angry when I think about how they don't realize that they are bringing real lives and souls into the world and need to raise them to be productive healthy adults. Babies and children have feelings and needs too.

Read the article below.

Australia Paying Cash for Newborns

CANBERRA, Australia (Aug. 3) - Good things come to those who wait, the saying goes. For new Australian mothers in July, those good things were a baby - and a cash handout.
A federal government "baby bonus" of 3,000 Australian dollars (US$2,100) went into effect July 1, and a newspaper reported Tuesday that at least one private maternity hospital saw a slump in deliveries toward the end of June and a surge in early July.
Apparently, women who planned Caesarean section deliveries put off the procedure until after July 1 to ensure they did not miss out on the new bonus. The government had advised expectant mothers to schedule caesareans according to medical advice rather than when it would be most lucrative.
The government said the payment was intended to boost Australia's flagging birth rate, while opposition lawmakers branded it vote-buying ahead of elections expected later this year.
St. John of God Hospital in the west coast city of Perth reported that the number of babies born there fell 21 percent in the second half of June compared with the corresponding period last year, the West Australian newspaper said. But the number of births in the first half of July increased 30 percent compared to a year earlier.
There were 126 babies born at the hospital from July 1 to July 14, and 95 babies in the comparable period last year.
However, another private maternity hospital in Perth, Mercy, reported no difference in births after the start of the baby bonus period, while other hospitals said they had modest increases early last month.
The bonus was only announced earlier this year, so any parents who decided to have a baby to cash in on the government's generosity will have to wait several more months to collect.